We’ve had interview shows in the UK music scene but none has come any where close to Chams, Duane and Posty’s ‘Not For The Radio’. With guests ranging from Mega Man to Akala to Wiley, Not For The Radio is bold, witty and asks all the questions on everyone’s mind. What makes the show even better is the different personality each host brings to it. Mind you these three did not just pop up to make the show, they are all heavywights in their respective industries. We sat down with the trio to discuss the show and what impact its having on the UK ‘urban’ music scene.
How did you guys meet to set up NFTR?
VIS: I met Posty through the industry, obviously Posty was the founder of GRM Daily. Myself being a DJ, presenter and also one of the founders of Renowned, we crossed paths quite a bit. I didn’t know Chams as well as I do now before starting NFTR but I saw her around town. However we were more associates but NFTR has definitely brought us together.
CHAMS: Basically the guys had already come up with the concept together and they gave me a call and briefly described what they were planning and it was definitely a 100% yes from me.
Did you guys understand what you were about to do?
CHAMS: The boys are very strategic, I guess for any of us it was going to be difficult to discuss exactly how impactful it was going to be, but then you do hope for a successful impact. It has been pretty phenomenal.
VIS: I remember it quite vividly actually because I was doing quite a lot of behind the scenes type of stuff and I wanted to get back into interviewing. I remember speaking to Posty and he had the number 1 platform for that type of stuff in the UK, so I mentioned to him that I was going to start doing interviews again and that he should make sure he posts them. The conversation was actually open just like that and then Posty said that we should sit down and come up with something bigger than me just doing interviews. We just felt that there was a gap in the market for something like this. Obviously they do things such as this in America, but there was a gap in the market here. I had an office in Central London and between me and Posty we knew the whole industry. So we figured that a Central London location with all those contacts would be incredible.
…lets not forget Chams?
VIS: (Laughs) The truth is, we knew that Chams was connected as well, that was my main thing in getting her in. I could see that she would definitely be beneficial in terms of her social media and she was at every event that I was at. Between us, we knew that we had the connections, we had a very good location, and we knew that we could just do it ourselves independently.
Posty, you started GRM Daily so I can understand how much of an impact you would have thought this was about to create. Did you think that it would get to this point, based on what you have done with Grm Daily?
POSTY: I knew that it was going to be big just because of the calibre of people that were hosting. Vis has been in the business for 10 – 20 years and Chams has been involved for just as long as I have or even more. I feel like we are respected in the industry so the artists would feel that if anyone was to interview them we would be a great bunch to do that. Just like Vis said, in America this type of platform is one of the biggest things over there and it sort of reflects over here. In a way I expected it to be this big. People see me and know me as Posty from NFTR sometimes even though it’s something that we do for fun. That is how I know that it is quite big but at the same time because I am living in it I don’t really understand it.
I’m sure you guys get the comparison between yourself and The Breakfast Club, was that intentional?
VIS: No, not at all actually! We knew that they are the leaders in what they do 100% and that’s undeniable but we didn’t do it to get the comparison. We needed a female presence so we got Chams on board as I mentioned before and she was perfect for it. So it does seem quite similar but it was not intentional at all.
Chams can you talk a little bit about the characters that you have to deal with?
CHAMS: It is so weird because even though Posty and I have always been quite close through the industry, we’ve worked together on a lot of projects and such but I hadn’t worked so much together with Vis. However, since doing this we have really come together and it really is like a crazy little family. The boys are so much fun and totally different to each other. I feel like I have two sides, one side like Posty and my other side is very much like Vis and in that sense I can kind of relate to both of them. It is good celebrating such a platform with these two.
How do you all come up with your questions?
VIS: We try not to make it too restrictive, that’s why it was very important that I knew the branding of this project. We didn’t want it to feel overproduced and over prepared, we wanted to be the total opposite of that. We are quite honest about that and say something along the lines of “hey, we don’t know a lot about what you are doing but we can see from the numbers that you’re penetrating at the moment”. We don’t over prepare anything, we don’t underprepare either but definitely not over prepare.
Posty, you ask some of the weird type of questions. How do you come up with your questions?
POSTY: In what I do, I curate content for people. So I understand in a way what people want to know. It may not always be appropriate asking but I feel that I ask what someone might have always wanted to ask somebody. For instance, if they have done something a while ago and you may have wanted clarification that’s sometimes what I ask but lately these two have been really steaming ahead with that so my role is getting smaller and smaller. I just think it’s good because we did that from the start people were expecting to be asked such questions when they came to the radio and once they are in that mode anyways it allows them to be as free as they can and the audience knows what they are going to expect too.
Which would you say is your stand out interview?
CHAMS: I have so many but I would say that the stand out one for me from everyone else’s perspective was Hypo because people saw me as a lot more vocal. I think that in terms of interrogating people of certain calibres, it is sometimes better for a female to ask them so that it doesn’t become a testosterone derived question, it’s just a question. Also I would say the Wale one that we did not too long ago. I definitely believe that was a good one and for me it was my absolute favourite!
The money questions, Do you feel that there is a genuine answer?
POSTY: To be honest, there is a bit of an over exaggeration! We don’t actually always ask about money but some of the guests that we have always talk about money. So if we always get that, what else are we going to ask them? If they always talk about girls, we are going to ask them about girls, if you talk about cars we are going to ask you about cars and if you are talking about money we are going to ask you about money basically. So that is really why we ask about money and to be honest we don’t go into whether he or she is telling the truth or if they’re lying. We are not really bothered because we are just there to do our job and whatever the person feels comfortable with answering, that’s their call. It’s up to the audience to decide whether they are telling the truth or not because we’ve all got money (laughs).
VIS: I think that is for the audience to decide. In terms of musicians and our urban industry or the black music industry we are very reserved when it comes to talking about money. Whereas the global acts they are very open with it. They will say things like “I’ve sold this amount of records and made this amount of money”, “I get this endorsement, and I’ve got this property”. We definitely wanted to bring that culture to it and see what is really going on out here and whether you can actually make a living from it and the ups and downs of the industry. That is why we asked the question to the people who put the perception out there that they have made a lot of money, we try and break it down a little bit.
CHAMS: To add to that the money element is not just about showing off, sometimes we ask it from an educational standpoint. When someone is coming in and they are new, people that do watch or that are aspiring to be musicians if you said to them if I gave you a record deal for this amount would you take it? They don’t know how much to expect so this is the only way for them to really gauge how much they should charge for a show or how much they should be anticipating (just as a guide). There is really no other way to teach them that other than getting it from the horse’s mouth.
In terms of UK Hip Hop, Grime and maybe R&B, where do you think the industry is at the moment?
POSTY: I think GRM Daily is leading that field aside from NFTR. The industry is booming and everyone is doing well.
Grime is kind of getting back…
POSTY: I wouldn’t say that it’s getting back because it never really went anywhere. If I ask you right now to name your five top Grime song you would probably couldn’t. You like what you like, it just didn’t go anywhere. I just think at the moment artists are in control of what they want to do. If they want to work at 100 they are going to get those 100 results and that’s how I feel that it is at the moment. I believe that it is really strong in terms of achieving what we want to achieve as businessmen, artists, whatever the case may be, I think now is the time.
CHAMS: I think that it is at a good place. I think it is always a good place when people are able to be creative and also where they can be educated about how to monetise what they are doing. It is not the only thing that they should be doing but if you don’t make it a business, it can drive you a bit crazy when you have fame and credibility but you are not able to pay your bills. I think that can cause a bit of a push and shove for people’s sanity.
VIS: For me it is in the best place and I am the most entertained I’ve ever been. I’ve come from that restricted background of BBC Radio and MTV Presenting and I don’t even watch or listen to that anymore. I’m on GRM, Link Up, SB, I’m downloading my mixtapes from mixtape madness, so I really am not bothered about labels and stuff like that. It just feels more authentic and in control.
As the show grows what type of direction are you planning to take?
VIS: For us it is a talk media platform primarily but we are going to experiment with different things around that. We are going to start doing podcasts, a couple of freestyles here and there, stuff revolving around and the best elements of a talk show or radio show that you can expect, but with no rules!
Are you guys aware of your audience? Has it broken outside of the UK?
POSTY: We are getting a lot of female viewers oversees now. I would say that it most likely has broken outside of the UK because if people oversees are interested in the artist then they probably would watch it.
VIS: We have had acts that have been successful abroad, for example TY Dolla Sign, Estelle, Lethal Bizzle, Mega Man, Krept and Konan and some others.
POSTY: It’s not for the radio. It is about us as characters but just as equally as that it is also about whoever the guest is.
VIS: Can I say that we have only been running for 8 months and as I said we planned this on a night out.
CHAMS: And it came together pretty fast.
VIS: So we’re just taking it as it comes to be very honest.
Now that you have mentioned it, it feels like it has been going on for a long time but it actually hasn’t..
CHAMS: Which is why it’s so exciting! That’s why when you asked whether or not we anticipated success and growth obviously we’re all very busy people or we wouldn’t be doing this otherwise, but in 8 months I don’t feel that most people could anticipate the growth at this speed.
VIS: It’s just fun though and we give fans of music or our culture what they want in an open conversation. It is not overthought about though.
CHAMS: It genuinely is a platform for the people. It is about what they want to know and it’s not the structured industry questions that people tell you what to ask. Artists even get bored of that, people asking them the same questions over and over again. Our show gives individuals something that is a bit new and fresh. This is exciting for the artists to do but also exciting for the public because it involves them, for instance I’ve always wanted to know this about so and so and now they’ve asked it and I feel like I can now move on with my life a little bit (laughs).
Watch NFTR on YouTube